Environmental                       Studies




GPS collar products

GPS collars wildlife

GPS-GSM collars wildlife

GPS dog collar

GPS Hundehalsband


Link Manager

Remote GPS data download

Argos terminals

GPS tracking projects



Precision Farming




























































































































































                 Wolf tracking research  in Spain
                 GPS GSM collars send position data via mobile phone

last update: July 25, 2005


Juan Carlos Blanco

Introduction to our pilot project with GPS GSM collars

Wolves have been severely persecuted in Spain and their populations have been decreasing mainly during the XIX and XXth centuries.  Nevertheless, this situation started to change in 1970, when wolves were partially protected and the attitude of urban people towards them started to improve. During the last 30 years, wolves have been recovering and they have even re-colonized densely inhabited areas.  Today, there are 2,000 wolves in Spain, and a part of the population is living in agricultural lands, in treeless areas plenty of small villages, roads and highways. Our project using GPS GSM collars for tracking wolves is trying to elucidate how these wolves survive and adapt to the new conditions.



The study area is mainly located in the provinces of Valladolid and Zamora, in north-central Spain (figure 1), 200 km northwest of Madrid. The area comprises flat, almost treeless, agricultural land, with cereal and maize fields and is densely populated. Between 7% and 26% of the area is covered by remnant forests, sometimes privately owned and with restricted access. Wild ungulates are almost absent, and only the wild boar is locally common. The area is bisected by a few 4-lane, fenced highways and by the river Duero artery, which is a semi-permeable barrier for wolves.


After being absent for most of the twentieth century, wolves have been recolonizing this area since the 1970s. They live in packs of 5-10 wolves and their staple diet is livestock carrion.



The project is mainly funded by the Ministry of the Environment in the frame of the Action Plan for Wolves in Spain, and its objective is to obtain scientific data for wolf conservation and management. More specifically, it is aimed to find out the characteristics of the key habitats and ecological corridors in order to define mitigation and compensation measures to conserve wolves in habitats fragmented by highways; to know wolf population trends and other aspects of population dynamics; and to get data to improve the coexistence between wolves and livestock.



Since 1997, we have radiocollared 16 wolves, 2 of them with GPS GSM collars. The last one is Paca, a 4-5 years old, barren female fitted with a GPS GSM collar on May 30th, 2005 (figure 2 and 3).


Fig. 2: Juan Carlos Blanco and Yolanda Cortés fitting the GPS GSM collar on Paca












Fig. 3: Paca shortly before releasing













First results

During the first 20 days after being collared, Paca has been visiting almost daily the area where apparently are the pups of the pack’s breeding female (figure 4). By the mid of June, she started to behave as a breeding female herself but we suppose that she has not bred and her behaviour is related with the pseudopregnancy. We hope that the information provided by the GPS GSM collar will help us to solve the enigma.


Fig. 4 : GPS fix positions of Paca, May 30 - July 24, 2005





Author's address:

Juan Carlos Blanco
Wolf Project. Conservation Biology Consultants.

Calle Manuela Malasana 24,

28004 Madrid, Spain                                        jc.blanco@ya.com





Author’s articles as pdf (download)

BLANCO, J.C.; CorTĂ©s, Y.; VIRGĂłs, E.;
Can. J. Zool. 83: 312--323, 20052

Wolf response to two kinds of barriers of a agricultural habitat in Spain                         PDF 92 KB








Top of wolf tracking page